Streams

Sinkhole Swallows 8 Cars At National Corvette Museum

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Snow is flying. Ice is accumulating. Roads are impassable. Power is out.

And the story of the day that's getting more attention than the weather on social media is this:

"Eight Corvettes Swallowed By Massive Sinkhole At National Corvette Museum." (Louisville Courier-Journal)

Here's how the museum in Bowling Green, Ky., reports what happened to the iconic Chevrolet muscle cars:

"We received a call at 5:44 a.m. from our security company alerting us of our motion detectors going off in our Skydome area of the museum. Upon arrival it was discovered that a sinkhole had collapsed within the museum. No one was in or around the museum at the time. The Bowling Green Fire Department arrived on the scene and secured the area. The Fire Department has estimated the size of the hole is 40 feet across and 25-30 feet deep.

"It is with heavy hearts that we report that eight Corvettes were affected by this incident. Those cars include:

-- 1993 ZR-1 Spyder on loan from General Motors

-- 2009 ZR1 'Blue Devil' on loan from General Motors

"The other six vehicles were owned by the National Corvette Museum including:

-- 1962 Black Corvette

-- 1984 PPG Pace Car

-- 1992 White 1 Millionth Corvette

-- 1993 Ruby Red 40th Anniversary Corvette

-- 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 Corvette

-- 2009 White 1.5 Millionth Corvette

The local Daily News says "there was no word this morning on the value of the vehicles that plunged into the hole." It adds that "sinkholes such as these aren't uncommon in the area, given the karst landscape," according to Jason Polk, an assistant professor of geography and geology at Western Kentucky University.

What is a "karst landscape"? Here's some of the explanation posted by the University of Texas' Environmental Science Institute:

"Karst is a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks including limestone, dolomite and gypsum. It is characterized by sinkholes, caves, and underground drainage systems. ... Rainwater becomes acidic as it comes in contact with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the soil. As it drains into fractures in the rock, the water begins to dissolve away the rock creating a network of passages. Over time, water flowing through the network continues to erode and enlarge the passages."

As for the cars, the Daily News says a recovery effort can't begin until structural engineers determine whether it's safe to work there.

For those not familiar with Corvettes who are wondering, the museum is in Bowling Green because that's where the only Chevrolet factory that makes the cars is located.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Source: NPR

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